IMAX version of STAR WARS Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Johnny G, Jul 1, 2002.

  1. Brian Kidd

    Brian Kidd Screenwriter
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    The sound is fantastic in IMAX theaters simply because they have more expensive systems than your average cineplex. The movie itself will not look any better, since it was filmed on lower resolution video anyway. As for the question about running time, a lot of IMAX theaters also have 35mm projectors. I'm assuming that this is how it will be shown.
     
  2. Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm

    Andrew 'Ange Hamm' Hamm Supporting Actor

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    [stepping up to podium]
    Movies made for the cinematic screen that are shown on IMAX screen are every bit as bad as pan and scan. The original viewing experience (call it "visual ratio") is blown up way out of proportion to the film's original composition in relation to the viewing distance.
    You can test this at home very easily. Watch your favorite scene from your favorite movie from the "sweet spot" of your HT. Now watch the same scene again, but sit on the floor in front of your screen so the picture stretches all the way out into your peripheral vision. Notice different things? I guarantee you they are not what the director and cinematographer composed the shot for you to see. Beauty and the Beast cemented this idea for me beyond the shadow of a doubt when I was distracted from the characters' huge featureless faces by the extreme detail of the leaves in the background painting.
    Anyone who believes strongly in original aspect ratio should feel the same way about this issue, which is the same thing from a different angle. Then again, we do have members here who don't mind open-matte 4:3 home video because it lets them see "more" of the picture. [​IMG] I guess IMAX fits in the same category because HT enthusiasts are vulnerable to a "more is better" sell.
    [/stepping down from podium]
     
  3. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    Who said anything about PAN & SCAN??

    I'm 100% for OAR, BUT if the director of a film officially releases a different aspect ratio version of this/ her film- see Cameron's open matte version of "The Abyss" on LD many years ago- THEN I'm willing to give it a shot. For me, the viewing of an effects film like this (AOTC) on a substantially larger screen, is a JOY to behold, both for the substantially improved sound quality, and the cool factor of watching something on the IMAX screen, usually reserved for A) boring crap like the above mentioned "Beauty & the Beast" and B) even more boring documentaries best saved for "The Learning Channel" at 3AM!

    All of my most memorable experiences at the cinema in the last 12 years or so have been at the IMAX screen:

    1997- Star Wars SE at Lincoln Square in NYC
    ROTJ SE "" ""
    Titanic "" "" (unbelievable sound)

    More recently:

    2001/2002- Fellowship of the Ring at the Sony Metreon in San Francisco (unbelievable sound)

    Now, all of the above were projected in OAR, again, my preference...but here is why this AOTC interests me so much:

    In 1998, after I had first moved out here to Northern California, I went to a local theme park (Paramount's Great America) that featured an IMAX auditorium on-site; they were showing the documentary feature called "Special Effects" which was a little piece of fluff (typical of IMAX-ready features) that contained effects breakdowns of some big effects shots (the White House in ID4, for example). Our friend Dennis Muren was allowed to re-shoot the Corvette/Star Destroyer attack of Star Wars, with the original models, except using modern technology to matte everything and new digitally created backgrounds...the result??

    In full 4:3 IMAX glory this scene was UNBELIEVABLE! Now, I know that taking AOTC and blowing it up real'big won't have this same effect...but I HAVE to believe that this IMAX version won't be just a zoomed in, sides cropped, digitally artifacting version of the movie that we all watched in regular auditoriums...no, this has to be something special. Why else call it a "Special IMAX release"?

    Spiderman is on the IMAX, and now Minority Report? Those aren't "special" versions...but AOTC hasn't appeared on any IMAX screen to my knowledge, and I'm betting the reason is it needs special attention to make it ready.

    And that's the version I'm hoping to see in Sept!

    -Dennis
     
  4. Jeff Kleist

    Jeff Kleist Executive Producer

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  5. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  6. Aaron Reynolds

    Aaron Reynolds Screenwriter

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  7. Dennis Pagoulatos

    Dennis Pagoulatos Supporting Actor

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    Jeff:
    To my memory they looked great! [​IMG]
    I'm pretty sure they were the same models used in the original Ep.4 opening, weren't they? [​IMG]
    And to Aaron, Andrew:
    At IMAX showings of films (especially 2.35:1 films!) it is utter insanity (IMO) to sit anywhere past the middle of the theater towards the front! (You end up staring UP at the image centered on the screen)
    I usually prefer to sit about 5-6 rows from the back of the theater, in the middle of the aisle if possible; I don't enjoy "physical pan+scan" ie me turning my head to look from one corner of the screen to the other! [​IMG]
    That being said, there is something grand about seeing even a matted 35MM film on a huge screen like that...regular theaters just can't compare...and no matter what anyone tells me "Home Theater" of any kind just can't compare to this. (And I've seen some impressive home theaters.)
    These are the kinds of movie-going experiences I crave, that is why I'm into HT (and I would think that is why everyone else is here as well, no?)
    -Dennis
     
  8. Mark Kalzer

    Mark Kalzer Second Unit

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  9. Michael St. Clair

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    Here are the thoughts of Stephen Worth (Spumco animator) on seeing 'Beauty and the Beast' on IMAX.

    If the film had actually been composed for Imax, it would have
    been designed to have a smaller focal point within the overall
    composition, and action would flow from one side of the screen
    to the other slower to allow your eye to keep up. I had the
    same problem when I saw Fantasia2000 in Imax. There were things
    happening on both sides of the screens at once that one would
    have to be wearing wide angle glasses to be able to take in all
    together. I was constantly being left high and dry visually in
    fast scene cuts. My eye didn't have time to register where I
    was supposed to look before the scene changed and I was back
    to struggling to regain my visual footing.

    I really think these pictures are best seen in a normal theater.


    For what it's worth, I agree with him (and Ange).

    I will see 'Treasure Planet' in a 'regular' theater, not an IMAX.
     
  10. Keith Paynter

    Keith Paynter Screenwriter

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    Without coming off like a thread-crapper, I'm really put off with the way that the Imax system has had to take on modified commercial films to stay in business. The whole design concept of Imax was to take a film image which is essentailly four times the square footage of a 35mm film frame and show it on a humongous screen. I was amazed when I saw my first Imax film, Fires Of Kuwait, on a four story screen with fabulous digital surround sound. The image was phoenominal, because the the grain is negligable on such a large frame as originally photographed.. The original release of Titanica was stunning, and I wish I had kept my laserdisc, because the reissue is too short.

    Films that take advantage of Imax's overwhelming sense of size are what made the Imax system so unique, but it also led to its decline. A bland Imax movie is just another bad movie, and the lack of any interesting material that works on the Imax screen condemned it.

    The seating design of an Imax theater makes the image's sweet spot the center of the lower third of the screen. Watch a real Imax film and you'll see the composition is mostly in the lower half so you don't have to rubberneck to watch the film.

    Taking commercial movies in 35mm and recomposing them for Imax seems wrong on two levels. First and formost is the aspect ratio. hard matted 1.85:1 and 2.35:1 widescreen films suffer from image loss, but Super35 films can be recomposed for the Image frame. Standard film compositions are more centrally located within the film frame. Secondly, as has been noted before, blowing up a 35mm frame simply enlages the graininess, and some films suffer worse than others. Using computers to "soften" the image is like using blur on programs like Photoshop. You may soften the grain to accomodate the larger screen area, but the overall frame is still compromised.

    We did not get Fantasia 2000 at our Imax in Regina, and I doubt we'll get BATB or The Lion King. I would like to see just one commercial film for the purpose of seeing how much they had to compromise the film to make it work in the format. It make keep them afloat, but it is disappointing to see them take this approach to do it.
     
  11. Jonny_G

    Jonny_G Auditioning

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    'Treasure Planet' went out in IMAX ? - I totally forgot that fact ... I remember seeing this at Mazza Galleria on it's largest screen, all by my lonesome self on opening day, first show of the day - private screening indeed.

    anyhow ... yes, I did just DO a 15 year thread bump...

    but back on subject - I remember seeing 'Attack of the Clones' at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum and remembering thinking that the 4:3 cropped image of 'Attack of the Clones' being waaaay too overstimulating (reaching for the barf bag when the action swung into gear)
     

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